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Useful Shareware / Freeware for Technical Communicators


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Ed Marshall

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Useful Shareware / Freeware for Technical Communicators

  1. 1. Useful Shareware / Freewarefor Technical CommunicatorsEd MarshallPMC Conference 2007Copyright 2006
  2. 2. Agenda• Keeping your computer safe withshareware tools• Tools to “Let the computer do the working”• Advanced utilities• Top 10 Work Flow Tips• Sources of information about shareware• Q & A
  3. 3. Keeping Your Computer SafePotential bad guys:• Firewalls• Spyware• Spam• Anti-virus• Keyloggers• Ad-ware• Phishing• Extortionware
  4. 4. Recommended Tool Suite• Windows Update! = $0• ZoneAlarm firewall – = $0• AVG Anti-Virus –, 1-license for2 years = $39• Webroot SpySweeper –, 1year subscription = $30• Microsoft Windows Defender – 2 = $0• Total Cost = $69!
  5. 5. Securing Wireless Networks١. Log into your router.٢. Use encryption: WPA2 (Wi-Fi ProtectedAccess) is best. (Usually, seen as WPA-PSK (pre-shared key).٣. Change your computer’s settings to usethe encryption set in step 2.For detailed instructions, go and search for“wireless security”.
  6. 6. Tools to “Let the Computer Do theWorking”• File / folder differencing• Advanced text editors• Search and replace tools
  7. 7. Advanced Text EditorsNoteTabPro and EditPadPro:• Both tools have: Spell-checking. Big plus if you work in a mixed OSenvironment: Neither tool inserts Windows-style line feedcharacters in Unix files.• NoteTabPro has an auto-complete option for html tags and otherlanguages. Light ($5) and Standard ($20) versions $30, Lots of other tools here.• EditPadPro has color-coding for custom html $50. 30-day free trial, free Lite version available.JG Soft has other tools too such as a PowerGrep tool, Registryeditor, and others.
  8. 8. Search and Replace ToolFunduc: Will search & replace both foldersand zip files. Will also search & replaceASCII and binary files. Some cautionsabout using it with binary files but my initialtests with Word .DOC files worked $25Lots of other tools here also.
  9. 9. File / Folder Level Comparison(Differencing Tools)• Beyond Compare - Folder and file level comparisons, ASCII andbinary. Can detect that ASCII or binary files are different but canonly show the differences in ASCII files, not binary files. Highlightsthe specific characters different between 2 ASCII files. Gives a 30-day free fully-functional trial. price: $30• Araxis Merge - Folder and file level comparisons, ASCII and binary price: $129
  10. 10. Desktop Search UtilityCopernic Desktop Search – Searches files,e-mails, videos, pictures, etc.Works in background to indexcontinuously( Cost = $0
  11. 11. Advanced Maintenance Utilities• Registry cleaner: Registry Mechanic ( $30• Disk defragmenter: Ashampoo MagicDefrag ( $29
  12. 12. Backup Utilities• Acronis True Image: ( $50• CD burning utilities:Ashampoo CD Burning Suite: ( $13Roxio Easy Media Creator: ( $99Nero Burning ROM ( $80
  13. 13. Top 10 Work Flow Tips10. Analyze your documentation set to determine alogical directory / tree structure.9. If you are moving to a new file managementsystem or just starting to work with one, set up a“sandbox” where you can learn how to use itwithout risking losing files.8. Map an area on your machine where files arestored when they come out of your filemanagement system and where you put themwhen you are ready to put them back in.
  14. 14. Top 10 Work Flow Tips (2 of 4)7. Never work on files in the area you specified in #8. Sooner or later,you will overwrite your changed files or discard your changes.(Think of clicking OK to a “format C” question.)6. Trust the tools but be wary of yourself. Always check to ensure thatyou are putting the files you want to store back into the filemanagement system. Get in the habit of comparing your files to beput back against the current versions of files in the file managementsystem. Make sure you’ve copied your revised files into the“checkin-checkout” directory, and aren’t just checking in the samefiles you checked out.5. Beware of accidentally permanently deleting files in a filemanagement system. Most tools offer a delete / destroy option.Delete removes the file from your view but keeps all the history andchanges. Destroy erases all record of the file and its changes. Notethat different systems might use different names for these functions.
  15. 15. Top 10 Work Flow Tips (3 of 4)4. At important milestones of a project, create groups,labels, etc. to record which versions of the files belong toa field test version or final release of a version.3. Learn how your tool works, how it handles different typesof files, and any particular strengths / weaknesses of thetool. For example, how reliable is it over dial-up / workingfrom home? Does it provide single-user locking bydefault or is that an option?2. If your tool supports third-party products such asdifferencing tools / advanced text editors, consideradding them to your workflow to increase yourproductivity and safety net.
  16. 16. Top 10 Work Flow Tips (4 of 4)1. Back up early and often, especiallybefore doing something complicated thatmight prove disastrous if it turns out wrong(rewrites that involve deleting largeamounts of “old” text, reformatting,upgrading to the next version of anauthoring tool, etc).
  17. 17. Recommended Listservers /Newsletters• Kim Komando –• Fred Langa’s LangaList –• Brian Livingston –• Tourbus –• Infopackets –• Shareware Report –
  18. 18. Other Sources of Information• Professional Magazines: PC World,Consumer Reports, SC Magazine• Spyware Guide -• PC Tools –• CNet -
  19. 19. SummaryQ & AAdditional questions, contact me at:Ed.marshall@verizon.net978-339-3095